The novel coronavirus has disrupted many aspects of our lives. In late March 2020, the First Presidency took the unprecedented step of closing temples worldwide in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus. But that hasn’t precluded Latter-day Saints from pressing forward—even redoubling their efforts—to prepare names for the temple through family history.
“[Temples] are nourished by names,” says Elder David A. Bednar, chairman of the Church’s Temple and Family History Executive Council. “For people who live very fast-paced and hectic lives, this is a marvelous opportunity to learn more about family history research, indexing, and how to prepare many, many names for the day when the temple doors will open again. This is a chance to increase our understanding of family history work—and to do more of that sacred work.”
With pandemic-induced downtime, billions of digitized searchable records, and sophisticated online research tools at our fingertips, there has never been a better time for family history. Of course, these tremendous resources did not appear overnight. They have been years in the making by FamilySearch, and they have been accelerated by your support. Thank you for helping to provide opportunities for engagement and connection during a time when the importance of family has come into greater focus and family history has been a way to stay connected to the temple.
In the past, it has taken an average of 249 days to go from digitizing a record to making it accessible online. Today, thanks to incredible technological breakthroughs and your support, FamilySearch has shortened the process to 24 hours.
Digitizing records is key to making them accessible for family history and temple work. With your support, in 2019 FamilySearch sent 334 camera crews to 45 countries around the world to digitize more than 170 million images.
A Note from Steve Rockwood, CEO, FamilySearch International, Managing Director, Family History Department
We continue to fulfill our purpose of reconstructing the family tree of all mankind, one person at a time. FamilySearch is now available in 20 additional languages—30 in all. This will help more of God’s children worldwide make meaningful connections and gain a sense of belonging as they discover and share their own family story. The joy, love, and unity felt by those pursuing family connections stands in stark contrast to the contention and division that impacts so many individuals and families in today’s world. Millions of people are now participating in gathering their families and feeling the unique emotion and spirit associated with this noble work. Your contributions enable FamilySearch to expand the tools and opportunities that create these inspired experiences and discoveries. With your help, more of God’s children are connecting to their homelands and families across generations and around the globe.